Real Estate The Proper Way

15 Questions You Should Be Asking Your Realtor When Selling Your Home

15 Questions You Should Be Asking Your Realtor When Selling Your Home

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About Matt Tilley

London Transplant who made the move across the pond in 2008 and jumped into the world of marketing. After working with some of the largest companies in the US and being accepted into Harvard's Executive Business Program, Matt decided to turn his talents to his true passion: Real Estate. Consistently a top producer in his office and Hall of Fame agent at First Team Real Estate, Matt prides himself in giving his clients the top notch service they deserve.


Choose Matt as your agent and you will have a top-notch guy. I never in my wildest dreams thought I would find an agent who moved boxes to the garage, planted and watered flowers, came to the house at 7:30 am to put out donations in the rain. He kept me on track when I was down.

He always had a smile for me. I didn't know much about selling a house, but he kept me informed and gave me ideas that would help sell the house. The British Bloke is a hero in my eyes... and you won't go wrong with him!

-Janice M.

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Am I Financially Prepared to Take Out a Home Loan?

October 19, 20223 min read

You feel ready to own your own home, but are you financially ready for a mortgage? If you want to know how close you are to being able to take out a home loan, you’ll want to consider how your credit, debt and recent financial history stack up and what steps you may need to take to improve them.

Where Do My Finances Stand?

Mortgage-ready homebuyers typically have similar financial profiles. This often means:

  • Higher credit scores.

  • Lower debt-to-income (DTI) ratios.

  • No foreclosures or bankruptcies in the past seven years.

  • No severe delinquencies* in the past 12 months.

Depending on your financial profile, you may be mortgage ready, near mortgage ready or not currently mortgage ready, based on basic underwriting standards Freddie Mac used in a 2021 analysis of the mortgage readiness of young adults. The below chart offers a quick look at how these factors may affect your mortgage readiness.

 Mortgage Ready (All of the following)Near Mortgage Ready (All of the following)Not Currently Mortgage Ready (Any of the following)Credit Score661 or higher600-660599 or lessDTI ratio25% or less25% or lessGreater than 25%Foreclosures or bankruptcies in the past 84 monthsNoNoYesSevere delinquencies* in the past 12 monthsNoNoYes

*Severe delinquency defined as mortgage payments more than 120 days overdue.

If you are not mortgage ready today, that’s OK. You can take steps to improve your finances over time.

What Can I Do About My Credit Score?

Your credit score summarizes your credit profile and predicts the likelihood that you'll repay future debts. Credit scores change often, as does the information in your credit history.

If your credit score puts you in the near mortgage ready or not currently mortgage ready group, here are steps you can take to build your credit history and improve your score. These include:

  • Paying your rent on time and working with your property manager to make sure these payments are being reported to credit bureaus.

  • Paying your credit cards, student loans and car payments on time.

  • Keeping your credit card balances low. Pay your credit card bill in full, if you can.

If you need to build or rebuild credit, be patient. The best practice is to review your credit regularly and manage your credit wisely over time.

CreditSmart®: Financial Education on Your Terms

Education has power, and it’s in your hands with the CreditSmart® suite of financial and homeownership education resources. Whether you’re renting a home, are on the path to homeownership or saving for the future, CreditSmart has something for you. Learn more

What Can I Do About My DTI Ratio?

Your DTI ratio shows how much of your monthly income you're using to pay your debt. 

To calculate your DTI, divide your total recurring monthly debt (your rent and any auto loan or credit card payments) by your gross monthly income (the total amount you make each month before taxes, withholdings and expenses). The below graphic offers an example for how to calculate your DTI.

Calculating your debt-to-income ratio

If your DTI ratio is keeping you from being mortgage ready, you can work toward reducing your debt with the help of education tools and resources, including Freddie Mac's CreditSmart®.

You should also consider working with a housing counseling agency approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to learn about financial literacy topics, such as credit restoration, budget management and other principles.

What Can I Do About Foreclosures, Bankruptcies or Delinquencies?

If you've gone through foreclosure or bankruptcy, or you've had trouble paying for your housing, working with a certified housing counselor can help improve your financial picture.

Free phone assistance from HUD-certified housing counselors is available at 877-300-4179, or you can use one of Freddie Mac’s Borrower Help Centers.

To learn more about how you can prepare for and navigate the homebuying process, visit My Home by Freddie Mac®.

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Under Contract in Less Than a Week, Matt Tilley of First Team Sells Hermosa Beach Walk Street Home for $4 Million

HERMOSA BEACH, CA – Closing sale on 20 4th St, Hermosa Beach for $4,021,875 in just one month, Matt Tilley wasted no time capturing top dollar for his client with a thorough preparation plan and comprehensive marketing strategy to match. Known throughout the local market as The British Bloke, Tilley’s keen marketing expertise and in-depth understanding of Southern California’s coastal luxury markets consistently place him among the top agents within the First Team Long Beach office and the entire company as a Hall of Fame recipient.

Previously Expired, The Hermosa Beach Ocean View Home Went Under Contract in Only 9 Days, Selling For 3.5 Million

HERMOSA BEACH, CA – 1818 Manhattan Ave languished on the market for eleven months in 2019 with no offers, but First Team Real Estate agent Matt Tilley knew that with the proper marketing strategy and timing, the owners could make their much-anticipated move a reality. Going under contract after only 9 days on the market, the beautiful Cape Cod-style beach home sold for $3,500,00, allowing the sellers to head straight to their next dream home.

Will We Finally Start To See More Housing Inventory? All Signs Point To Yes

Several agents have been experiencing the built-up to more inventory hitting the market as well, including top-producing FirstTeam agent Matt Tilley, affectionately known as The British Bloke, from our Long Beach Office. “I’m currently speaking to 10 home sellers all looking to do something within the next 3 to 4 months. There definitely seems to an uptick in inventory and I think there are several factors at play,” explains Matt. “People are noticing...

Matt Tilley

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